Current Training Phase (March 2024)

Current Training Phase

Summer Prep

It may not seem like it with the weather lately, but it’s time to start our summer prep. This next phase of training will build off our new strength and power gains from the previous phase. We will be focusing on muscle hypertrophy to build and support our bodies through summer activities as well as working on body composition. You can also expect to build work capacity to better handle stressors in the weight room, the last of your winter activities, or the beginning of your running, hiking, and cycling season.  

During this training phase you will notice the regression of your squat and bench press lifts, decreasing weight and increasing reps, to better focus on form and mechanics. To correct or redirect faults in our form, we will create more unilateral balance and strengthen weak points, such as deceleration and re-acceleration. While we regress some lifts, we will work on deadlift progression with an increase in weight. Working heavier deadlifts, during this phase, will keep up peak strength, increase power input, and limits additional strain on the knees. 

Goals for this upcoming block:

  • Body composition: “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.” Deion Sanders
    • We need additional muscle fibers and low fat mass to endure increased stress from summer activities. This increases performance and mitigates injury.
  • Improve work capacity to apply force for a period and re-apply it. 
    • This is crucial for any runners, cyclists, triathletes or other movement based sports. Being able to maintain a high level of force output for an extended period of time will directly improve your performance.
  • Contrast Training
    • Different ways to increase strength and power, using the method of high stress to medium stress to low stress. AKA French Contrast. (8)
  • Muscle hypertrophy
    • Increasing muscle mass decreases body fat, increases blood flow, decreases chance of injury, and aids in our ability to continue moving well as we age.

Thoughts for 2024 summer activities prep:

Within the last 20 years, research has shown that by increasing strength and endurance training while decreasing the volume of endurance activities you’re going to increase performance, especially for endurance athletes. This means running more or cycling more will not always prepare you for your race. For example, recent research shows that decreasing running volume and increasing strength training can increase performance in a 10K by 3-5%. (3,2,1,4) 

It is a common misconception that clocking more miles means the more prepared you are for your marathon or triathlon. Building muscle strength, power output, and muscle hypertrophy is what will increase strength, speed, and endurance for your sports. Beyond 8-12 weeks, solely running, cycling, or swimming will not continue to increase strength. Many of you have been doing these for years so you will not get strength or power properties from your activities. This is why we continue to stress the importance of training year round, 2-3 times per week.  

Direct quotes from research: 

-In summary, 8 weeks of combined strength and speed endurance training along with a 58% reduction in training volume improved short-term exercise capacity and induced muscular adaptations related to anaerobic capacity in endurance-trained runners, Vorup, J., Tybirk, J., Gunnarsson, T. P, Ravnholt, T. Dalsgaard, S, & Bangsbo, J. (2016). 

-Adding strength training to an endurance training program has been shown to improve long-term performance (>3 %) and running economy (~5 %) in trained individuals ( Paavolainen et al. 1999). 

-recently Skovgaard et al. (2014) showed that SE and strength training performed in succession, along with a reduction in training volume, did lead to improved 10-K performance in moderately trained endurance runners. Like in the study by Bangsbo et al. (2009) 


1-Rønnestad, B. R., & Mujika, I. (2014). Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: A review. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 24(4), 603-612.

2-Barnes KR, Hopkins WG, McGuigan MR, Northuis ME, Kilding AE. Effects of resistance training on running economy and cross-country performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2013: 45: 2322–2331.

3- Vorup, J., Tybirk, J., Gunnarsson, T. P., Ravnholt, T., Dalsgaard, S., & Bangsbo, J. (2016). Effect of speed endurance and strength training on performance, running economy and muscular adaptations in endurance-trained runners. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 116, 1331-1341.

4- Trowell, D., Vicenzino, B., Saunders, N., Fox, A., & Bonacci, J. (2020). Effect of strength training on biomechanical and neuromuscular variables in distance runners: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 50, 133-150.

5-Stöggl, T., & Holmberg, H. C. (2022). A systematic review of the effects of strength and power training on performance in cross-country skiers. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 21(4), 555.

6- McGuigan, M. R., Wright, G. A., & Fleck, S. J. (2012). Strength training for athletes: does it really help sports performance?. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 7(1), 2-5.

7- Carbone, S., Kirkman, D. L., Garten, R. S., Rodriguez-Miguelez, P., Artero, E. G., Lee, D. C., & Lavie, C. J. (2020). Muscular strength and cardiovascular disease: an updated state-of-the-art narrative review. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, 40(5), 302-309.

8- Rebelo, A., Pereira, J. R., & Valente-dos-Santos, J. (2023). Effects of a preseason triphasic resistance training program on athletic performance in elite volleyball players—an observational study. German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research, 53(2), 163-170.